(100% Goes to the National

alliance on mental illness)


About me

This site and expedition is about the fundraising effort.  Having said that and being a friendly sort of fellow, hello, my name is John.  I live in SC.  I'm 47 yrs old.  I support my brother and NAMI. 

About the


This is a 2000+ mile solo paddling expedition from the source of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca, MN to the Gulf of Mexico about 100 miles beyond New Orleans, LA.   

The river begins as merely a creek and steadily gains volume.  Paddling 8-12 hours daily for perhaps two months I will experience the backbone of our nation as a witness of its birth through its transcendence into a new life at sea. I hope to be worthy of such a gem. 

For this formidable challenge one must choose wisely when selecting a vessel.  After great deliberation I have decided on two kayak models in order to best fit the changing environment along the way.  I will use the very sleek and versatile P&H Valkyrie (plastic layup) early on.  Then I will transition to the super fast Epic 18X (composite layup) for the bulk of the distance.



NAMI envisions a world where all people affected by mental illness live healthy, fulfilling lives supported by a community that cares.


NAMI provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives.


  • Hope: We believe in the possibility of recovery, wellness and the potential in all of us.

  • Inclusion: We embrace diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives.

  • Empowerment: We promote confidence, self-efficacy and service to our mission.

  • Compassion: We practice respect, kindness and empathy.

  • Fairness: We fight for equity and justice.

Who is nami?

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation's leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an association of more than 500 local affiliates who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.

What Nami does:

NAMI relies on gifts and contributions to support our important work:

We educate. Offered in thousands of communities across the United States through NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates, our education programs ensure hundreds of thousands of families, individuals and educators get the support and information they need.

We advocate. NAMI shapes national public policy for people with mental illness and their families and provides volunteer leaders with the tools, resources and skills necessary to save mental health in all states. 

We listen. Our toll-free NAMI HelpLine allows us to respond personally to hundreds of thousands of requests each year, providing free information and support—a much-needed lifeline for many.

We lead. Public awareness events and activities, including Mental Illness Awareness Week and NAMIWalks, successfully fight stigma and encourage understanding. NAMI works with reporters on a daily basis to make sure our country understands how important mental health is.